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I Won Driscoll’s Vintage Jesus

February 29, 2008 2 comments

Today is starting off great!

I just got this message from my friends at The Vintage Jesus Facebook group (which you should join) :

Congratulations!

You are one of the winners of the Vintage Jesus book give away. Please respond with your mailing address so we can send you your free copy.

Vintage Jesus is the latest release from Mark Driscoll. I can’t wait to read it.

Categories: Books, Driscoll

What I’m Reading – Fiction

November 21, 2007 1 comment

Blogging content has been hard to come by recently. I work in retail and our biggest financial day of the year is Friday. Plus I have been really busy settling into our new home and trying to work something out to sell or rent the old one. In my free time I have been playing with the kids and watching sports on TV (the cable was live at the house we moved into – sweet!).

The majority of my free time this week has been spent reading a great piece of fiction by Vince Flynn called “Term Limits.” Flynn is a native Minnesotan who writes political thrillers with many Minnesota references. Term Limits has been one of those books that have so many twists and turns that you have to keep reading just to find out what will happen next. Every year I get into a groove where I consume the fictional works of an author for a month or two. Last year it was Dan Brown, and this year I think Vince Flynn is my man.

Categories: Books

Examining the New Atheism

October 14, 2007 Leave a comment

A friend of mine sent me a link to this article a long time ago; I just got around to reading it tonight. It is a wonderfully rational and articulate critic of Christopher Hitchens’s book “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.”

In the article Peter Berkowitz examines the arguments of Hitchens and points out the inconsistencies between the standard Hitchens has for religion compared to his own faith: atheism. Berkowitz also draws attention to Hitchens failure to apply solid hermeneutical principles when criticing Biblical sources and so-called Biblical inconsistencies.

Categories: Books, Faith

Book Review: Peppermint-Filled Piñatas: Breaking Through Tolerance and Embracing Love

September 5, 2007 Leave a comment

My sister spent two months this summer working at Mosaic church in Los Angeles. One of the things she enjoyed was meeting Eric Bryant, who oversees the leadership team there, and from what I can tell, keeps the Mosaic ship going while Erwin McManus is traveling and speaking around the country.

I had the pleasure of meeting Eric last summer and running off some copies of the Mosaic Constitution while I was an Executive Assistant at Bethel Seminary. Seemed like a really great guy; very humble, down to earth and friendly.

My sister brought me back an autographed copy of Eric’s first book: Peppermint-Filled Piñatas: Breaking Through Tolerance and Embracing Love. It is a great book that focuses on encouraging Christians to step out of holy huddles and embrace the people around them, in love, for the sake of the Gospel. The book is filled with stories from Eric’s own life and reads quickly and easily.

Some things that struck me…

  • all of us recognize the value of people similar to us more readily than the value of those who are different (9)
  • More and more people see Christianity as part of their past rather than as a guiding force for their future (18)
  • The most effective apologetic is love (32)
  • We must go to great lengths to serve and to meet the needs of friends – even to the point of being willing to pick them up and carry them if that’s what it takes (40)
  • Where we live provides natural opportunities to engage with others (53)
  • We lie away from the world physically, but out behavior matches that of the world (54)
  • To move out of our rut and routine, we should look to connect with others through a cause, hobby or area of passion (73)
  • For Jesus, serving the Father meant getting involved in the lives of others (74)
  • Those who are most mature in Christ need ti be willing to make the greatest sacrifices (93)
  • “If you want to become a diverse church you need to have friends from diverse backgrounds.” (Erwin McManus, 123)
  • We should see beyond someone’s skin color so that we get to know the person, but to truly get to know a person we need to find out what being black, brown, beige, or what is really like (125)
  • “As Christians we are to take responsibility for the irresponsibility of others” (Mark Driscoll, 146)
  • Our allegiance belongs first and foremost to God’s kingdom. Our heavenly citizenship should always guide how we live our lives and how we treat others as citizens of our country and of our world. (162)
  • The existence of strip clubs, pornography, and promiscuous relationships reveals a brokenness within our hearts, which we try to fix with these dangerous and destructive adventures (176)
  • religion does not work because religion is humanity’s attempt to earn God’s favor (198)
Categories: Books, Driscoll, McManus, Quotes

Jesus Leads Us to Places We’d Rather Not Go

Craig Barnes recounts an experience of listening to Henri Nouwen speaking to a group of theological students….

I can still see Nouwen leaning over the pulpit asking us, “Do you love Jesus? Do you love Jesus? Do you love Jesus? He waited through a long pause….Then he made his promise: “If you say yes, it will mean meetings, meetings, and meetings, because the world likes meetings. It will mean parishoners who only want one thing of you, not to rock the boat….it means being subjected to endless deju vu experiences. It means all of that. But it also means anxious hearts waiting to hear a word of comfort, trembling hands eager to be touched, broken spirits with expectations to be healed…Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical; it ought to be restless; it ought to lead you to places you’d rather not go.

– retold in Gordon MacDonald’s book, Mid-Course Correction

Categories: Books, Quotes

John Piper book deal

Attention John Piper fans. Found this amazing deal on Steve’s blog. This is a deal that you don’t want to miss out on. Just ordered my copy tonight.

From Abraham Piper at the Desiring God Blog

We would like to offer the book What Jesus Demands from the World for $2.97 to our readers. (It retails for $19.99 and we usually sell it for $12.49.)

This may be the first post you’ve seen here at the DG Blog or you may be a regular reader. Either way, we appreciate your interest and we would be very happy for you to take advantage of this special.

To get the discount, add the book to your cart in our store. Proceed through the checkout and on the payment page there will be a field to enter a coupon code. Enter the word blog and then click on “Apply Code.”

Small print: This special is only available online. One discounted book per order. We’ve set aside 500 books for this, so it is a while-supplies-last kind of deal.

I also ought to add that you can always download this book for free (PDF) along with a bunch of our other books if you don’t mind reading a couple hundred pages on your computer screen.

Categories: Blogs, Books

Leaders Are Readers

I love to read. With three small kids I am not able to read nearly as much as I would like, but in those few moments that I do there is little else I would rather do. Reading expands my mind, opens me up to new ideas, forces me to think about new things, advises me on things I need to learn about, and makes me a resource to other people. I think reading is one of the most important parts of developing as a person and as a follower of Jesus. And yet most people don’t do it.

There are a million excuses given. Maybe you have heard or used a few of them…

-I don’t have time
-I am not good at it
-I can’t stay focused
-I don’t ever remember anything
-I am an audio learner

And the list goes on and on.

Loved what Casey had to say a few days ago about reading. You’ll have to read his whole post to get the context…

“I love it: “Who cares if he doesn’t like to read?” Don’t you owe it to your clients, coworkers, spouse, friends, congregation, yourself, customers, family, boss, employees, whoever to be reading?”

If you want to improve yourself in any way than I recommend that you develop the discipline of reading. Take it in small steps. Chunks of good books at a time. Develop your habit and then feed it. You will be a richer person for it, and the people around you will be blessed as a by-product.

Categories: Books